The area of Lake Mývatn is a nature reserve and in its own right, a beautiful and untouched natural landscape. It has so much to offer and you can explore the surroundings for days if you wanted to focus on just one region of Iceland. This includes the geothermal power plant, Hverir hot springs, and Grjótagjá cave to name a few. But I was there for a very special reason: to rejuvenate and take a dip in Mývatn Nature Baths.
For me, a road trip in Iceland means nothing without at least one dip in a pool or hot tub. And that’s exactly what I set off to do at the tail end of my adventure in Northern Iceland! My decision to bathe in the late evening was the best way to cap off the night for a an even better rest as I had a long ride to Reykjavík the next day. It’s only a 4 minute drive from the local campground, too! With geothermal water temperatures ranging from 36-40C along with rejuvenating minerals, this man-made lagoon was sure to spoil me. Here’s my lowdown on my wonderful spa evening:
Did you know “Mývatn Nature Baths” is in fact the English translation of Jarðböðin, or the nature baths? As much as I like the English version, I personally wished they never translated it. Jarðböðin is much more charming! But don’t worry, the name of the baths does not take away from the amazing experience.
My first impression walking into the building was simplicity and warmth, and the interior was classy while the layout was easy enough for me to determine each section. To the left of the entrance was the gift shop where graphic t-shirts, outdoorsy gear, and knick-knacks can be bought. And reception was directly in front where a friendly women stood, welcoming all the guests into the baths.
Kaffi Kvika can be found to the right of reception. As we already had a delicious dinner earlier on, I didn’t need to purchase any food or drinks, but the spread seemed varied enough for anyone to enjoy a snack and coffee before or after their experience.
This particular sign has to be shared, because it is absolutely spot on! As for change rooms, I respect everyone’s privacy and this is the one of the only places I didn’t snap a picture of for obvious reasons. However, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the condition it was in, which happened to be because a good amount of guests chose to forgo the requests of reception and signs. To be a responsible tourist, you can always refer to Iceland’s Local Pool Guidelines, Do’s & Don’ts.
Otherwise, there are two change rooms (unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the second one) and the lockers are coin operated. Reception will give you the coin before you enter the pool area.
And then…the pool! I wasn’t going in with many expectations other than that it has been referred to as the “Blue Lagoon of the North”. It happened to be such a sunny evening on our visit and had to show you my point of view from outside. We were literally in the middle of nowhere! The pool itself was quite spacious even with a good number of guests in the water, by the way. It was much appreciated to have personal space for a relaxing time.
I finally got in and it was love at first dip. The temperature was comfortable and it looked as though everyone I swam by equally enjoyed their time at Mývatn Nature Baths. Most of the pool was open space, but there were seats around the perimeter as well as sunbathing spots. Just outside the main pool was a seating area for hanging outside, although it was slightly windy during our visit.
And just below the building, another smaller, but warmer pool was available where I chatted with a a nice family who were entertained by my photoshoot. I told them I was writing about my experience in the baths and then quickly found out they’ve read my previous articles! What a small world.
The views from the pool were spectacular as well. Swimming to the outer edge of the baths rewarded us with a view beyond compare, mountains on one side and lake right in front. I must admit, it was dreamy.
My favourite place in the entire pool area was the waterfall. Not only was it a beautiful feature, it functioned as a jet for the perfect shoulder and head massage. I could stay under that stream of water forever and will be adding this to my dream shower list.
Another place I didn’t get a picture in was the steam bath. It’s a must-do with two separate rooms. Just be ready to get sweaty and when its time to leave, you have to rinse yourself before heading back into the main pool. As you can see, the shower is right outside of the steam rooms for your convenience and as a warning, it’s cold! Definitely grab a drinnk of water afterwards to rehydrate.
It was just after 11:30PM when we finally dragged ourselves out of the water and back into the showers to get changed and move onto our campsite for the evening. I didn’t really want to go since I knew I had a long day of driving ahead of me and wanted to continue relaxing, but all good things must come to an end! It was a pleasure being able to enjoy an evening of rejuvenation and peace over a long road trip. And if there’s just one thing I can recommend to all of you, it’s that you need to incorporate at least a few hours during your Happy Campers trip to stop everything and enjoy the moment in a hot bath.
Until next time, happy travels!
To check out Lea’s adventures, follow her on Instagram @coolitchcowski
To read more about Lea’s Happy Camper Adventures in Iceland check out these articles:10 Free Things to Do & See in ReykjavíkReykjavik Food WalkPólar Hestar Horseback Riding in North Iceland